Fair Food Network Appoints Mark Nicholson as Policy Director

Nicholson brings more than 20 years as farmer, ag policy leader

3 October 2019 | ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Fair Food Network announced today that Mark Nicholson joined as its new policy director.

Nicholson brings more than two decades of policy and legislative experience in addition to a background in specialty crop production. He is a third-generation apple farmer and co-led Red Jacket Orchards, a New York-based family farming business, where he spearheaded the development of value-added products to increase farm revenue.

He also brings more than two decades in national agriculture policy including as chairman of the board of the U.S. Apple Association. Nicholson spent his early career at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Marketing Service and was a member of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee.

“We are excited for Mark to join us in this role where he will help lead our state and federal outreach and policy work,” said Oran B. Hesterman, Fair Food Network Founder & CEO. “He brings proven legislative experience plus real work insights that will ground his work developing strong and diverse collaborations for win-win solutions like healthy food incentives.”

Fair Food Network is a national leader in heathy food incentives through its signature program Double Up Food Bucks. Double Up matches SNAP dollars spent on fresh fruits and vegetables. Its benefits are three-fold: a win for state farmers selling more produce; a win for low-income families putting more healthy food on their tables; and a win for local businesses and economies. (SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.)

“I understand firsthand the myriad issues that family farmers and agriculture businesses face,” said Nicholson. “This background drives my passion to find solutions that work for farmers as well as American families to ensure strong, resilient communities.”

Nicholson is based in Washington, D.C. and can be reached at mnicholson@fairfoodnetwork.org.

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About Fair Food Network

Fair Food Network is a national nonprofit whose mission is to grow community health and wealth through food. A decade in, our work is connecting people to the power of food to improve health, ignite local economies, and open opportunities for all — especially in our most underserved communities. Dig deeper at fairfoodnetwork.org or follow Fair Food Network on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.